By bulldozia


Nipped through to Paisley to visit the Heritage Centre. I forgot the Library and Museum were closed for renovations, and a notice redirected me to a part of the town I didn't know.

I searched for directions on my phone, and, directed west along High Street, I strode purposefully on.  As I approached Coates Memorial Church, a man in a high-vis – I thought he was a traffic warden at first – seemed to be paying unusually particular attention to me.

'Have you come to sort this mess out, then?' he said.

I looked puzzled, so he pointed towards the church. There was a car, clinging to a steep grass slope at a silly angle, having veered too close to the edge of the gravel drive, and the driver not quick enough on the wheel to restore its intended direction.  Both doors on the passenger side were flung open, pointing to the sky; the vehicle empty.  Three voyeurs stood at a distance, taking photos on their phones.

I finally made it to the temporary home of the Heritage Centre. It looked like a refurbished mill, but for a public building curiously coy about its identity. A receptionist ushered me through double doors down a long corridor, and I was soon in a lovely, well-lit room with several immaculate wooden tables, orderly shelves and the comforting quiet of an archive.

A newly-bound copy of issues of the Renfrewshire Advertiser for 1846 was waiting for me. And I went to work.

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